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The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalised its rule governing solar and wind energy development on public lands. The rule strengthens existing policies and creates a new leasing program that will support renewable energy development through competitive leasing processes and incentives to encourage development in suitable areas.

The rule formalises key aspects of the BLM’s existing Smart from the Start approach to renewable energy development. Notably, the rule:

  • Supports development in areas with the highest generation potential and fewest resource conflicts through financial incentives, awarding leases through competitive processes and streamlining the leasing process
  • Ensures transparency and predictability in rents and fees
  • Updates the BLM’s current fee structure in response to market conditions.

The rule complements the Department’s landscape-scale planning efforts which were designed to streamline development in areas with high generation potential, while protecting important environmental, cultural and recreational resources.

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